journal for 2003-03-23
We watched 8 Mile this morning. It was OK. It was entertaining, and not unpleasant to watch, but I wouldn’t go a whole lot further than that. The most interesting stuff in it was the rap “battling.” On the extras, there was a set of actual impromptu battles between some extras and Eminem, and the dramatically lower quality of most of them made the in-movie ones seem really good but really unlikely.
Ugh! So, I don’t know how this movie got to be such a big franchise, or why so many people seem to think it’s good. While it had a few good bits, they were not used very well. It’s the kind of movie I would expect to see on MST3K, really. The flying silver ball, which I had understood to be the centerpiece of the movie, was really a side note. I think it gets more important in parts II through VI. Ugh!
It seems that a lot of the same actors kept coming back to make the sequels, and that many of them have few other movie credits. I wonder what kind of lifestyle a staring role in the Phantasm series can provide. Is Michael Baldwin, who played Mike in the movies, living in a mansion with Bentleys? That would make him a pretty smart guy in my book: act in six movies, retire.
I’m reading a few good books, at the moment.
I’m about half done with VALIS, which is really interesting, but has slowly gotten more and more confused, or at least more confusing. I think I’ll need a break after VALIS before I start on the Divine Invasion. (I think that’s the second one.)
I started The Gunslinger last night. It’s really good. I think I’ll take it to the gym tonight and see if I can’t finish it. The odds aren’t great, I guess, but it’s pretty easy reading, and I’m dying to know what the hell Roland is on about. Sadly, this will probably lead me to read the next three books in the series, and they seem to get progressively longer. Maybe I’ll try to get audiobooks, so I can consume them on the elliptical
I’m also working on The Abolition of Man, which is good, but has some of the same annoying bits that made Miracles all but unreadable. It bugs me that many book covers quote people calling Lewis “the 20th Century’s greatest theologian.” I’m not sure who the greatest theologian of the last century was, but certainly it was not Lewis. He wrote interesting and pleasant stuff about Christianity, but I don’t think I’d call him a theologian at all, let alone the century’s greatest. He was an apologist, and wasn’t even great at that. I would say, really, that he wrote what’s now called “inspirational literature,” but that his (unlike today’s drivel) didn’t suck.
In Abolition, he keeps getting into these ridiculous logical reductions and false dichotomies, which is amusing, since he notes in the Screwtape Letters that these are two of Satan’s best techniques. As usual, though, I fundamentally agree with what he’s saying, and I like a lot of the simple examples and explanations he gives. I just don’t like his attempts to use strong logic.
Judging for IntroComp 2003 has begun. There are only five other contestants, which is a little bit of a bummer, but I think it probably helps my odds. Of course, what I’m most interested in is good feedback, not a prize. A prize would be swell, though.
I need to write down my thoughts about the games, but I won’t post them until the judging is over, as per protocol.